Everett’s many-world / many-mind interpretation assumes that an observer's memory can be represented as part of the universal wave function, but can that be true?
1/3/2020 9:30 a.m.
First entry of the year. 2020 – feels so weird to write that date. As I am slowly gearing up to return to work, I seem to be looking for excuses not to. So in that spirit, let’s try a little dialogue… (smiling)
The question “on my mind” is, can the mind itself be part of the “universal wave function,” i.e. the global quantum superposition?
Let’s back up; in Hugh Everett’s Ph.D. thesis, which subsequently got labeled the “many-worlds-interpretation,” we need to include the memory of an observer in the state vector or wave function to facilitate the branching. But as described, memory is only one aspect of mind. What about the others (cognition, awareness, processing, etc.)? Where do they fit in?
So… not sure if I can talk about this to the Club – I may not have a basis to do so.
Are you there?
The Club: We are here. If you say, “I may not have a basis,” that would mean you do not have anything in your memory to build on, to go further.
True. So how can I and we know?
And you think that we can add new insights.
Yes, at least some spark of insights, because you never tell me full answers.
So, like you said, we need a place to leap from, to bridge towards new insights.
That is a cognitive function, to build and recognize new insights.
Only remember, they are not “new.” They are all already in the hologram that contains (and is) All-that-is and could-be. You would now call this the global superposition.
So it is as we always said: it is but to choose yourself onto a branch that then “discovers” that [already existing] insight, and makes it part of the lived memory of that observer.
So you see, all that is mind, all that it could ever be, all knowledge to be ever found, is already there.
It has to be, because in a true holographic model, all combinations are possible, so all knowledge has to be there already.
The superposition of this observer, in fact, of this whole world at present, is only a small subset of all possible infinite combinations.
And remember, we always said that consciousness and matter do come out of the churning – momentary consciousness. Really, it is all enfolded together in this global total interspersing superposition.
Next, remember that, say, Everett’s quantum wave function then only measures a small subset of the total [only that pertaining to the physical]. It really is but a mathematical “toy”—of course that name is not correct because it does describe useful computations. What we mean to say is it only grasps part of the mystery.
OK, a lot said here. The gist of it being, is that memory, how should I say it, is only one aspect of it, and enough to model at least the iteration process in choosing?
Yes. The chooser needs a memory to choose, a sense of self, a place to stand on. That would be the absolute minimum part of the mind that must be included. You will find more as you go on.
So, can memory, as held locally in the brain, be described as a state vector?
Memory is information. That’s all. So you know that information is continually stored as bits in a computer, on a CD, in an [encoded digital] video. How do you store a book on a CD? So in general, yes.
But all that is linear; the brain, though, is nonlinear, “holographic” (Karl Pribram).
Yes, but nonetheless, the memory was built linearly over time. And got encoded linearly into that structure as neurons. And it can be decoded back linearly out of it. Sort of like a Fourier Transform and vice versa.
I see, and since we can sort of do this today with neural nets as well, the assumption is that memory is nothing but information, and can be truly modeled as some state vector, may it be a very complex one.
Correct. How this will play together with choosing, i.e. higher cognitive functions, that should be a topic for later, because, yes, you don’t have the basis for it yet.
OK, so the gist here is: it is not all of the mind that is or needs to be encoded in the state vector, but enough of it for the mathematical state vector to have a basis, to make the model work [of the many-worlds or many-minds model].
The bridge to seeing this seeing memory as information, which CAN be modeled as bits [added later, or entangled qubits in a quantum computer].
I am still not sure about the linear nature.
Remember, it does not have to be linear, but could be modeled as weights in a multi-layered neural net [added later, or qubits ].
But that presupposes an organization that is needed as well [that is, how the neurons are arranged], for there could be many [possible organizations], so you would have to introduce a “hidden variable” that describes some structure.
[as I write this up, I realize it might be possible to have the structure also be part of the state vector, as the state vector would describe also the current organization of matter, and the physical brain would be part of this. The assumption is really that there is a one-to-one mapping between the physical brain and the locally stored memory.]
Yes, that is one way, but it could also be an entangled system*. And in these, you can have a full explanation of the system while knowing nothing about the components. It would go more in that direction.
*[again, added later: qubits are entangled. The white rabbit is leading us there.].
I see. So all not so easy.
What mystery is? We smile.
OK, than you; enough for now. Until next time.
Namaste — I bow to you and the Divine in you.
Copyright © Hanns-Oskar Porr